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Some Maricopa County bookmarks err on voting date

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Maricopa County elections officials are drawing criticism for another instance of providing the wrong date for the Nov. 6 general election in materials printed in Spanish.

County elections spokeswoman Yvonne Reed acknowledges that the Spanish language side of 2,000 of the 3,000 printed bookmarks with election information erroneously give the election date as Nov. 8.

Liberal activists are accusing Republican County Recorder Helen Purcell of trying to suppress the Hispanic vote.

Reed denies that and takes responsibility for the error. She says she failed to change all the dates when updating a printing sheet used last year when some jurisdictions held elections on Nov. 8.

"I don't think it's just a mistake, it's happened too many times," says Randy Parraz of Citizens for a Better Arizona. "This is just unacceptable, when you have the County Recorders Office putting out misinformation and their whole purpose to exist is to do elections."

The county previously acknowledged that it printed up to 50 Spanish language voting information cards with the wrong date for this year's general election.

"The fact it's in Spanish leads us to believe because were focused on the Latino vote at a time when it's emerging, at a time when the historic recall of Russell Pearce, when Latinos see their vote can matter, we have this type of problem."

Statement by Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell

Concerning the regrettable error on the Spanish-language Voter ID and bookmark: I wish I could say we never made a mistake in this office. But we do. However, the suggestion that this office would be a party to a dark conspiracy to depress voter turnout among any constituency or ethnic group is contrary to the history, the commitment and ideals of this office, my staff and my life's work.  It is simply a malicious lie. We have dedicated decades of the highest public service to expand voter participation. A former President once described the vote as the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice. We agree and our professional careers attest to that high mission.

To that end, we will be launching a very aggressive Spanish language publicity campaign to make sure everyone knows that the election will be held on Tuesday, November 6. Martes, 6 de noviembre. Such a message already appears prominently, in Spanish and English, on the Maricopa County Recorder's and Elections Department Websites.

Your vote is your voice. We take seriously our responsibility to enable you to use it.

Related stories: Some voter ID cards printed in Spanish show wrong election date

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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